The elephant went rogue in the forest, stepping on the ant hills, destroying everything for the sheer pleasure of destruction.
The ants began to mobilize. They organized a thousand little Armies of Resistance, each with powerful leaders and Solid Plans.
Here is a Truth: There were enough ants in the forest to carry that old elephant away. All their united strength and energy could have saved the forest.
Instead, things went south pretty much from the beginning. The ants could not check their tribalism. They were suspicious of all outsiders, even (particularly) among their own kind.
On the ruined mounds of their separate anthills they began to call, not for the removal of the elephant, but for the annihilation of enemy tribes. Only when enemy tribes were dealt with would it be possible to remove the elephant, they said.
By the time the ants had dealt with their own internal battles, the elephant had won the day, and the forest was utterly destroyed.
I was reading the other day about the Scottish term caim, the circle of magic protection that you draw about yourself. I got to thinking about how I could use the idea as a drawing meditation, incorporating the protection prayer/spell into a mandala drawing. In a mandala, I always begin in the center, and then work outward, often referencing the energy points that I make note of in meditation. Here are a couple mandalas I drew today with the purpose of drawing a circle of protection about myself. The first was very enclosed, safe. Perhaps because the first established such secure boundaries, I was freer to whirl outward in the second.
Today’s Poetry prompt is to write a transformation poem. I am over-tired myself today, and am putting this tiny tanka here as something of a place-holder.
Begin in silence.
Draw your attention inward.
Feel the power grow
within your bones, your spirit.
Hold the image in your mind.
“If the Rhine, the Yellow, the Mississippi rivers are changed to poison, so too are the rivers in the trees, in the birds, and in the humans changed to poison, almost simultaneously. There is only one river on the planet Earth and it has multiple tributaries, many of which flow through the veins of sentient creatures.”
“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” —Kurt Vonnegut
“For a Star to be born,
there is one thing that must happen;
a nebula must collapse.
This is not your Destruction.
This is your birth.” —attributed to Noor Tagouri
“After the owl booms in the sycamore at dawn,
after your eyes adjust to the darkness,
after you stumble through the washing and dressing,
after the flicker of lights,
after the coffee,
after the tree pose,
after the quiet reading of O’Donohue’s poem,
you arrive with your heart at the blank page.”
Gratitude List: 1. Sunday Evening Hymn Sing at Freiman Stoltzfus’s gallery. Words and music and poetry and art all intermingle. Sound reverberates through the room, and you can almost feel the intensity with which people are concentrating on the sound. You’re held in a web of sacred sounds.
2. The stories of the morning. Welcoming new members of the tribe.
3. Autumn is stripping down to the essentials. Bare branches frame the sky. Clouds bustle across the blue. Leave skitter through the hollow.
4. Red beet eggs
5. Circles of protection
“Inside the word ’emergency’ is ’emerge’; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.” ―Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark)
“Pain that is not transformed is transferred.” ―Richard Rohr
“The world is always going to be dangerous, and people get badly banged up, but how can there be more meaning than helping one another stand up in a wind and stay warm?”
‘If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” ―Loren Eiseley, Anthropologist
“In a time of destruction, create something.” ―Maxine Hong Kingston
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”
Gratitude List: 1. I received an email back from a magazine asking me to resend my poems in Word form so the whole staff can see it in order to vote. This, of course, does not mean that I’ll get accepted, but I’m still all a-tingle that someone on the other end of a submission actually noticed my stuff.
2. Teaching at a school where justice is part of the curriculum, where a chapel service is given to a thoughtful speaker to teach us about the Doctrine of Discovery.
3. The really thoughtful questions students asked of the speaker at the end of chapel today.
4. Being chilly.
5. “The morning is wiser than the evening,” Vassilissa’s little doll tells her, and indeed it was so today.